Grassroot Soccer recently won the “How is Socialwok helping you?” contest for the innovative use of Socialwok and Google Apps for external collaboration and project management.

The following is an interview with GRS employee Taylor Downs, explaining how GRS uses Socialwok. To read the original article on, click here.

How do you use Socialwok?
I am Taylor Downs and I work for a non-profit organization Grassroot Soccer as the Curriculum & Training Development Coordinator. Our mission is to use the power of soccer in the fight against HIV and AIDS. We aim to provide youth worldwide with the knowledge, life-skills and support to live HIV-free. Grassroot Soccer has established itself as a premier provider of technical assistance to other “Sport for Development” organizations across the world. I work to design curricula and systems for the monitoring and evaluation of partner programmes in countries all across southern and eastern Afsrica. My job includes lots of collaboration both within my organization as well as with external parties like NGOs (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), corporations (Nike, Castrol) and local volunteer partner organizations. Socialwok has enabled me to effectively collaborate with all the parties involved. With Socialwok, I can keep track of several projects and the associated Google Docs and Google Calendar events simultaneously by getting all the status updates at once, instead of sorting through hundreds of emails.


“Socialwok has reduced the turnaround time it takes to onboard a partner organization to our grassroot soccer based HIV/AIDs prevention program, helping us win 3 more grants and save more lives!”

How has Socialwok saved your day?
Thanks to the Salesforce foundation, we have developed an online Salesforce-based system to keep track of the scale and effectiveness of our HIV-education and prevention programmes. We work with local partner organizations on the ground to deploy this tracking system. The deployment process involves a lot of configuration and coding to customize the tracking system to the partner organization’s local needs.
While working with a partner organization from Lesotho, I encountered the problem of partner requests being constantly overlooked and lost amongst many emails. Since adopting Socialwok, our partner organization posts all updates related to the system specifications or requests to the project feed. I simply “check the wok” everytime when I need to build more pieces of the partner organization’s system. In 3-4 minutes, I am completely up-to-speed with all their system requests without having to worry about overlooking anything.

Has Socialwok helped your organization become more productive?

Socialwok has reduced the turnaround time it takes to onboard a partner organization to our program. This has enabled Grassroot Soccer to more aggressive expand our program outreach in Africa. After using Socialwok to effectively and collaboratively design an M&E system for a partner organization in Lesotho, we have now landed grants to build similar systems for 3 other developmental organizations that are hoping to solve the HIV & AIDS problem in Southern Africa. By coupling the power of Google Apps with more effective and timely communications, I like to think that Socialwok is now, in some way, preventing new HIV infections!